Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Feivl Grinshpan


Born in 1894 in Warsaw, Poland to poor, Chasidic parents. Until age fourteen he learned in a cheder, but not being "excited" for his rabbi, he took to learning tailoring with his father. Here he worked more than two years, and during that time he became closer to many tailor-gezeln, especially with one, who was called "Avraham Chaim filosof (philosopher)", who familiarized him with political-national problems.

In his autobiography, he writes:
"Once, finding himself in a circle of forty-five people, we had -- when we had learned a two-chapter history from Professor Gretz -- the representative of the circle, gave out brochures, among them 'Family Tsvi' by David Pinski, which was then spread by the Bund. The brochure was popular with us, and I used to get together with friends and demonstrate the types from 'Family Tsvi', from which everyone enjoyed greatly, which had us at the same time thrust us into the theatre".

G. became known to a group of amateurs, among them the future actors the Fenigstein brothers, and they soon left in their way into it, acting for a very short time across the province, returning, and he joined in, as a professional into the troupe, which the actors Antovilska with her husband Burda put together there, where he debuted as "Beynishl" in "Der yeshiva bukher". Then he acted in the troupes of Veyshof and Schwartzbard, where he received important roles.

During the First World War, his stage activities were interrupted. He then immigrated to Romania, and in 1919 was engaged to Itsikl Goldenberg in the Bucharest "Jignitsa". In Romania he came to act with Sadigursky, Segalesko, Clara Young, in a provincial troupe under the direction of David Fachler, later with Lidia Pototcka, Dinah Kenig and other guest-stars in Romania and Bessarabia.

Julian Schwartz remarked that G., during the years of 1930-1940, acted in Czernowitz and across Romania with the troupes of Gina Zlotaya, Jennie Smilovitsh (later -- Lavitz), Hymie Prizant et al. There he acted in character roles, mostly father roles in American-Yiddish repertoire. He had a shtraf distinctive face, a god diction and could adapt to his roles that he had acted in. His wife was also an actress.

G. was killed by the Nazis.

Sh. E.

Sh. E. by Julian Schwartz.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 5, page 4552.

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